In 2004, HESS International Educational Group took an enormous step forward by opening its first international branch in Singapore. Singapore is seen as the educational hub of Asia, so it seemed like the next logical step in the company’s growth. The branch has developed over the years, adapting to the needs of Singaporean and international students, while remaining true to the HESS method and philosophy.
Singapore is unique and peaceful blend of 4 cultures in one city. Its geographical location has made Singapore a very important island throughout history. In Singapore you will find a big influence of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and British cultures.
Singapore has managed to have these four communities live in harmony for 50 years. You can hear all four languages (Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English) as you walk down almost any road. At the same time, there are distinct areas of town like; Little India, Arab Street, and China Town, along with the Western shopping area around Orchard Road.
Singapore’s food is as varied as diverse as the people living there. Each group brought its own flare and added to the plethora of Singaporean cuisine. Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western cuisine can all be easily found.
When dining out, Singaporeans often eat at hawker centers, coffee shops or food courts rather than restaurants. These are widespread, cheap and may feature hundreds of stalls in a single complex, with each stall offering its own specialty dishes
There is a wide variety of travel options in Singapore. Public transport network is very well developed and ultra-efficient. The average cost of a one-way bus trip is between SGD $2-$3 and run throughout the day and night. Singapore is also covered by a mass rapid transit system that is widely accessible and easy to navigate. If your time for travel is limited, taxis are freely available and are clean and relatively cheap. Taxis range from standard to limousine style but be prepared to pay more if you’d like the 5-star experience!
Many Singaporeans and expats also make use of the extensive network of bicycle paths to get out and commute to and from work. While it might get a little hot and sweaty, especially in the summer, it’s a great way to get around and explore everything the island state has to offer.
Most homes here are apartments as opposed to houses with lawns and gardens. While some are small and close together, others are modern and spacious and come with common amenities. HBD style apartments are in groups and are set up by the government in Singapore to provide affordable housing. They will have basic cooking facilities, 1 or 2 bedrooms and may or may not be furnished. While older and not having common amenities e.g. swimming pool, recreation facilities, they are cheaper and offer a great way to meet local Singaporeans and experience the culture. Condominium style apartments come with common facilities and are generally more modern in style and materials than their HBD counterparts. However that swimming pool, tennis court and other conveniences will mean that you will pay more per month in rent.
A lot of epxats in these gated condo complexes share apartments with other professionals which helps to bring the cost of rent down. HESS Singapore provides assistance in locating housing for its staff and assisting them to settle into the Singapore lifestyle.
Geographically, there are three major regions in Singapore. The central hilly region, narrow ridges in the west, and flat and sandy in the eastern part. In total, Singapore is only 440 kilometers (277 miles).
The narrow Singapore River meanders through the city, with the Central Business District near its mouth. It boasts of an impressive skyline with many high rise buildings and apartments. This area also houses the shopping hub (Orchard Road), parks and attractive squares.
Urbanization has also drastically changed the landscape. The hilly central region has been levelled, swamps have been drained and filled, and the islets have been enlarged to set up industrial estates. Three main water reservoirs and their catchment area is what is left of the rainforests and occupies the central region of the city-state.
Singapore is located very near the equator. This means there are two seasons. Sunny and hot, and rainy and hot. High humidity and abundant rainfall is what you’ll experience year round.
There is no clear-cut wet or dry season and rain is experienced every single month, usually in the afternoons and early evenings. However, there are two main monsoon seasons in Singapore: Northeast Monsoon Season (December-March) and the Southwest Monsoon Season (June-September). In short, always remember to bring your umbrella!
Singapore is one of only 3 city-states in the world along with Monaco and the Vatican. While it may only be the size of a city, Singapore is a major international country where East meets West.
Singapore has changed its time zone 6 times since 1905. Its interesting history and changing role has led to Singapore changing its time. The most recent change was to make Singapore match its closest neighbor, Malaysia.
According to a study done by the British Council, Singaporeans walk faster than the people of any other place. On average, their study found that Singaporeans walk 18 meters (59 feet) in 10.55 seconds. That’s equivalent to walking 6.15 km/h (3.83 mph)!
Singapore has managed a rapid transition. In less than 50 years, Singapore changed from a third-world, swampy island to the modern, international city it is today. These days, Singapore is considered one of the best places in the world to live with an incredibly high standard of living.
Singapore has four official languages – English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. These 4 languages represent the four distinct cultures that make up modern Singapore. It also is shown in the amazing variety of food available all over the city.
Singapore is very close to the equator, and that means that Singaporeans do not ever have anything close to a winter. In fact, there are only two seasons in Singapore; hot and dry, or hot and wet. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Singapore was 20°C (68°F) over 80 years ago.
Singapore is famous for being extremely well ordered and being very clean. To achieve these goals, the government has used fines to encourage the people to follow the rules. Among the many infractions, you can get fined for spitting gum, littering, and bringing a durian on public transport, among many other things.
Singapore has many opportunities to get close to nature. Its biggest national reserve, Bukit Timah, has more species of trees than all of North America. With beaches, tropical forests and one of the largest zoos in the world, this city is in touch with nature.
We all want to reach the stars. Singapore boasts one of the highest rooftop bars in the word.
1-Altitude, located at the top floor of One Raffles Place, is 282 meters above sea level, and it is a unique place to see all of Singapore.
The iconic Merlion is Singapore’s most famous symbol. The head of a lion represent the name of Singapore – City of Lions. While the body of a fish represents the island’s close links to the sea. There are actually three Merlions in Singapore, so be sure to see them all!